Sunday, May 25, 2014
3. He must have had a sense of good health and young enough not to be concerned about death. Diagnostic services weren’t anywhere as good as ours in his day but even in our time death still can strike unawares. Rich he was but he wasn’t lord of his life. Senseless he was, although a good farmer and business man, for he had no time or place for God and God’s commands. Now this unnamed ‘tycoon’ of Israel would stand accountable before the Lord God Almighty.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Guess it’s because I’m part of a team who review books. I don’t do novels but I do review devotionals. So, I gave this a go.
As you read further down, Marion Stroud is a prolific author of this genre as well as Children’s books. My wife Mary has some of these devotional/meditation books and has been blest by them.
There are six main headings ranging through ‘A Woman within’ ‘A woman and her children’ and ‘A woman growing older.’ Under each heading are a number of prayer conversations with the Heavenly Father. I admit I appreciate that style. As you read you can sense the honesty of the heart being expressed. From a man’s standpoint we would phrase things differently but hopefully as honestly as Marion has penned the words.
There are some appropriate snippets and quotes from such people as ‘Mother Teresa and Brother Lawrence, Charles R. Swindol and others. I always find them interesting.
I have to admit I haven’t read it all (I’m a slow reader). What I have read I’ve sensed a woman’s heart laughing, crying, waiting and seeking after God in various situations. Any guys reading this should buy it for your wife but read it before you give it to her. Could be a good conversation starter.
Reviewer Ray N. Hawkins
I did receive this book to review from ACBRA.
19th - 23rd May 2014
Women are most likely to express their deepest thoughts to a trusted friend. At its best, prayer is simply that; a conversation with a friend who is never too tired, too busy or too pre-occupied to listen and respond.
From personal prayers to prayers about family,friends and the wider world, interweaved with Scripture and thought provoking quotes, this inspirational resource helps women of all ages to genuinely connect with God,and build and maintain a strong prayer life.
About the Author
Marion Stroud has written 3 children's books, and 23 non-fiction titles. She lives in Bedford UK the town in which John Bunyan wrote his famous Pilgrim's Progress. She is a cross cultural trainer for Media Associates International [www.littworld.org] which works to help Christian writers, editors and publishers write and publish culturally appropriate material in the 'spiritually hard places' of the world. You can contact marion at www.marionstroud.com
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
That intrigued me and saddened me at the same time. What have they to celebrate? Nothing! What, apart from ego and trying to prove nothing, can possibly hold a diverse group of people together? Nothing! Will it last? Time will tell.
Looking up my concordance on the subject of ‘fool’ I was informed that in the Old Testament 5 Hebrew words are so translated. In the New Testament the Greek uses four different words. In Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 such people as the comedian are defined as an ‘empty person.’ Why? Because they say there is no God. In what way would the Psalmist consider them ‘empty headed?’
In both psalms the writer contrasts them with those who he sees as wise. The wise are those who seek to find and know the God of Creation and of the people of Israel.
To make mindless chance and at the same time presume billions of years as the creator of the universe is beyond belief. Nothing can only beget nothing. How much greater is the Psalmist’s words from psalm 19:1 ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.’ It is this Creator the Bible reveals. Paul uses a similar argument in Romans 1:18f. The word he uses for such thinkers is ‘moraino’ which means ‘to make foolish.’ It is their lack of a seeking heart and a seeing mind which has emptied their head and made them foolish.
Those who deny the reality of God say ‘Where did He come from, who created Him?’ That doesn’t demolish God’s existence. It merely brings us to the realm of the unknown. The same can be applied to ‘chance’ as the cause of creation. We are brought before the unanswerable. Both are faith matters. By faith the ‘fool’ says ‘Nothing’ created all that there is’ and by faith Christians state ‘it is by the power and word of the Lord God.’ He has also made Himself knowable in His Word and in the person of His Son, Jesus the Christ.
The Psalmist also says such ‘fools’ are very aggressive against God’s people. He implies that these ‘empty headed ones’ want to make null and void the Scriptures God’s people treasure. Why? For it was by the creation of this particular people that God would work with to give us all His word and commandments (check Psalm 147:19–20). His plan of salvation required His Son, the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ to come to earth. We call it Christmas which culminated at Easter (Passover) and the resurrection. The ‘fool’ not only rejects both premises they want them banned. This is being pursued in law courts and media especially in Christian countries. In the graphic words of the Psalmist ‘they eat up my people as they eat bread.’
In Psalm 53:5 we are given an insight into the sadness awaiting those who imagine they are on the way to ‘nowhere’ and into ‘nothingness.’ They are actually on a date with the One they don’t believe in. It will not be a picnic. It will be a time of terror and they will be put to shame.’
The Bible is Christ Jesus’ gift to us all so as to prevent any and all from being ‘Empty Headed’ towards Him. What He offers is better than ‘nothing’ it is defined as ‘abundant life’ in time and eternity.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
It is a similar in regards to happiness. It isn’t found in the hills or valleys or in things although many can find enjoyment in such things. They can be likened to ‘fools gold’ for they look like the real thing but haven’t the value or lasting worth of real gold. Happiness is something that possesses the heart and mind. It proves its worth and lasting power in tough times.
Can people in Syria, Algeria, Hungary and any number of strife ridden countries know true and lasting happiness? If so, where can it be found? Strange though it may sound true and lasting happiness is founding a Person and His book. This person is Jesus Christ. His book is the Bible. The word we write as ‘happiness’ is translated ‘Blessed’ in this sacred book. In the closing letter called Revelation this term is used at least seven (7) times. That is strange when you think of it for the letter is one dealing with the future and warfare, judgement and conflict. Even the writer, John, when he penned this epistle was a prisoner of Caesar on the isle of Patmos. Yet he was happy! This is his opening words: ‘Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and keep what is written in it; for the time is near.’ Revelation 1:3
The promise to the reader about experiencing happiness from this book is there for the receiving. Unfortunately, between the eye of the reader and the mind there can be many distractions or causes of ‘blindness.’
Happiness cannot be framed and put on the wall as a certificate of merit. To be blessed by God has its high moments of exhilaration and the quieter times of delight. Our defence against a loss of happiness is explained by John in: ‘… blessed are those who hear and keep what is written …’ It’s all in the word ‘keep’. In the NIV translation it says, ‘take it to heart’. The idea suggests a believer should be a watchman on a castle battlement keeping a lookout for enemy infiltration. Our telescope to spot danger is what is written. At the same time God’s word is a microscope. We turn it upon our soul’s attitudes and behaviour. Are we being true to what is written?
In Revelation John takes us through current and foretold events which threaten the happiness of God’s people. This explains why he joins happiness to keeping what is written. Revelation begins with the majesty of Christ and His ability to thrill the hearts of the faithful. Then it presents the judgements of Christ against all that corrupts, oppresses and denies godliness. The book concludes with the glories of Christ’s victory and the new heaven and earth. As we face uncertain times in a turbulent world, the Bible nourishes faith and strengthens hope. It also warns and informs us about coming events. As we read our understanding about God being in control grows. That’s happiness. From even a casual look around the globe there is more tears than laughter, more fear than cheer. How can any reasonable person experience the fruit of happiness which is peace, hope, love and a sense of eternal safety in the face of death? It comes from knowing that Jesus is Lord of your life and that nothing can separate you from Him. (Romans 8) Happiness is the confidence that Jesus Christ keeps His word and will share your trials and troubles and bring you ultimately into His presence. Happiness is the contentment which fills the heart knowing He has set aside a day when Justice will be meted out.
How can we be sure?
|more about happiness as promised |
in my latest devotional.